Learndash Review – Best WordPress LMS Plug-In

FT Knowledge is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
Learndash Review - Best WordPress LMS Plug-In

Learndash at a Glance

Learndash is one of the most popular WordPress plugins because it is also a learning management system (LMS). It has course creation features that help with e-learning.

You can create a course with the drag-and-drop course builder and advanced quizzing options found on Learndash. Course creators can enrich and organize their lessons/topics easily.

Third-party integrations are also possible with this WordPress LMS plug-in. You can run email marketing applications to enhance your student and marketing management processes.

Learndash also has its own mobile app that you can install on your smart devices.

Though it has no free trial, it has a money-back guarantee. There are 3 Learndash paid plans that you can choose from for your e-learning needs.

INTERFACE 85%
COURSE CREATION AND MANAGEMENT 90%
SITE CUSTOMIZATION 85%
SALES AND MARKETING FEATURES 80%
CUSTOMER SUPPORT 85%
PRICE 75%
PROS
  • Drag-and-drop course builder
  • Quiz and assessment options
  • Drip content tools
  • Online course analytics
  • Focus mode
  • Email triggering
  • Third-party integrations
  • Monetization options
CONS
  • No free trial
  • Limited sales features
  • Challenging interface

 

 

Learndash at a Glance

Learndash is one of the most popular WordPress plugins because it is also a learning management system (LMS). It has course creation features that help with e-learning.

You can create a course with the drag-and-drop course builder and advanced quizzing options found on Learndash. Course creators can enrich and organize their lessons/topics easily.

Third-party integrations are also possible with this WordPress LMS plug-in. You can run email marketing applications to enhance your student and marketing management processes.

Learndash also has its own mobile app that you can install on your smart devices.

Though it has no free trial, it has a money-back guarantee. There are 3 Learndash paid plans that you can choose from for your e-learning needs.

INTERFACE 85%
COURSE CREATION 90%
SITE CUSTOMIZATION 85%
MARKETING FEATURES 80%
CUSTOMER SUPPORT 85%
PRICE 75%
PROS
  • Drag-and-drop course builder
  • Quiz and assessment options
  • Drip content tools
  • Online course analytics
  • Focus mode
  • Email triggering
  • Third-party integrations
  • Monetization options
CONS
  • No free trial
  • Limited sales features
  • Challenging interface
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

What is Learndash?

What-is-Learndash

You’ve probably seen Learndash in a bunch of our online course reviews. It’s a popular WordPress plug-in because it hardly seems like a plug-in in the first place!

With Learndash, you can easily create online courses. You can upload supplemental materials and customize the assessment options to go with your lesson as well.

And what’s great about it being a WordPress plug-in is that it’s already accessible when you already have a WordPress website. You simply have to download it and then integrate it into your website.

We highly recommend Learndash if you’re already familiar with how the WordPress interface works because it blends into it seamlessly. In fact, many have even noticed similarities to the Gutenberg editor.

Learndash is geared more for those who want to design courses, as opposed to those who want to sell them. It has all the tools you need to come up with fully-working online courses.

But that’s not to say that you can’t market your courses with it either. After designing your lesson, you can also market it with Learndash’s basic sales features.

Forums

Students and instructors alike will also enjoy using Learndash because it boasts of an interactive discussion forum. Each user can post a query and then other users can respond.

Features and Benefits of Learndash

Features & Benefits Thinkific

To kick off this Learndash review, let’s discuss the wonderful features that we love about Learndash as a learning management system.

Drag and Drop Course Builder

Drag and Drop Course Builder

What most users love about using Learndash is its drag-and-drop course builder. Even first-time online course creators find it easy to get started because of it.

As mentioned, Learndash functions on WordPress sites. That’s why the course builder is pretty simple to understand if you’re already used to the WordPress interface.

Though many have noticed its similarities with the Gutenberg editor, others also tend to compare it to Elementor and Divi.

All you have to do to design your own course is pick what elements you need from the menu and then drag them into the builder. You can organize everything from there.

Course creators can also add lessons to the courses. Under each of them, multiple quizzes and topics can be added as well.

Even resources like photos, documents, and videos can be uploaded with Learndash. This feature can help students understand the courses better.

And if you’re someone who’s already authored a number of courses, you’ll be glad to know that you can re-upload your old courses.

Learndash allows instructors to reuse any content that they’ve already uploaded. This will save you from having to create separate content for similar topics and lessons.

Quiz and Assessment Options

Quiz and Assessment Options

The quiz tools on Learndash are highly customizable. Course creators can choose from different assessment types to use on their students.

Quiz types on Learndash include multiple-choice, identification, and short answer types. There’s even an option to set a timer for specific quizzes and assignments.

Instructors can also set up automatic-checking for the quizzes and assignments they create. That way, they don’t have to go through each student’s quiz one by one.

They can even send out course certificates to the students. This is a great tactic for motivating learners to study better and harder.

Drip Content Tools

Drip Content Tools 1

A popular teaching method these days is the drip content method. It’s highly effective because it lets the instructors set a sensible pace for their students’ learning.

On Learndash, the course creator can set drip content conditions. This means that you can turn on a setting that will only release new content to your students after a certain date.

Drip Content Tools 2

In relation to this, Learndash also allows you to only let students access new lessons if they’ve taken certain other lessons. This is good for topics that have prerequisites.

With the drip content features also come an option to send out notifications to the students. They’ll be informed when new content is finally available for them to go through.

Online Course Analytics

Online Course Analytics

When you choose to subscribe to Learndash’s Plus and Pro plans, you can access add-ons, including something called ProPanel. This feature lets you:

  • View the total number of courses, students, and assessments that you have pending
  • Check real-time updates on your students
  • Download student progress reports
  • Manage and revise assessments

Focus Mode

Focus Mode

For students, Learndash has a Focus Mode which basically enhances user experience. What it does is it cleans up the interface to make it look easier on the eyes.

Other online course platforms and websites tend to have crowded sidebars filled with ads. That’s what Focus Mode wants to avoid.

It lessens the noise and clutter on your screen so that you can focus on the lesson. But if you aren’t up to using it, you can also choose to keep it turned off as it’s optional anyway.

Email Triggering

Email Triggering

This feature is similar to automated emailing. Learndash lets you set a trigger based on your users’ activities.

For example, when a student enrolls in a new course, you can set a new message to be sent to their email address. It can contain important materials that they’ll need when studying the lessons.

Another example is if a student fails a quiz or assignment. The instructor can set a message to be sent to the student’s email address saying that he must retake the assessment.

Other triggers that you can set are if a student:

  • Finishes a course or lesson
  • Submits an assignment
  • Hasn’t signed into Learndash for a long time

Third-Party Integrations

Even though Learndash has pretty stellar email trigger options, you might want more advanced email tools. It’s a good thing that Learndash allows outside application integrations.

The most commonly synced third-party software for Learndash is Zapier. It’s an application that allows you to integrate other outside applications to your site.

Once most people have Zapier running on their page, they tend to then run email marketing tools. Apps like ConvertKit and MailChimp are popular among Learndash users.

These apps help enhance the results of your email marketing campaigns. They can also improve the rate at which you send out bulk emails to your students for content updates and deadlines.

Monetization Options

Monetization Options

As mentioned, though Learndash is more known for being a course creation plug-in, it still has good sales features. For one, it offers monetization options for the courses you create.

Creators can set a standard price, payment method, and payment schedule for their course content. Payment options include one-time payments, installment schemes, and membership subscriptions.

Plus, payment methods include the integration of third-party processors like PayPal and Stripe. But you have to note that these may charge extra transaction fees so just be mindful of the options you pick.

How Learndash Works

Kajabi Review_How it Works

Now that you’ve Learndash’s awesome features and benefits down, it’s time for you to finally try it out. Below are quick steps on how to start using Learndash.

LearnDash installs in exactly the same way other plugins do. Once you have paid for the plugin, you can download it directly from the developer and install the .zip file into your WordPress installation.

Step 1: Purchase and Install

Step 1 Purchase and install

First, since Learndash is a WordPress LMS plug-in, you have to download and install it first. Make sure that you sign up for a new account on the Learndash website and then purchase the plug-in.

From there, you can download the .zip file to your device and install it. You’ll be prompted to log into your WordPress website to properly integrate everything as well.

You’ll know that you’re all set up when you see the Learndash menu on your WordPress dashboard.

Step 2: Create a Course

Step-2-Create-a-course

You can now create your first Learndash course! Just go to Courses and then select Add New. You’ll get redirected to the Add New Course page.

Type in the name of your new course and then add a short description.

Step 3: Add Lessons and Topics

Step-3-Add-lessons-and-topics

Once your course is saved, you can start adding lessons and topics to it. When you add a lesson, you can add several topics under it.

Step 4: Create Quizzes

Step-4-Create-quizzes

Now, you can create quizzes and assessments for your course. To do so, just select Quizzes on the Learndash sidebar and then press Builder.

You can then write the specific questions you want to appear on your assessment. After adding everything in, you can then save your quiz.

Step 5: Design Your Page

Step-5-Design-your-page-1

The last step is to make sure that the space where all your courses will appear looks visually-appealing to your students. To do this, go to Settings and then click on General.

Step-5-Design-your-page-2

On the General tab, click on Design & Content Elements. From there, you can enable Focus Mode. Enabling Focus Mode will let you change the dimensions of your content.

You can set the layout and width of your lessons, topics, and courses.

What Needs Improvement on Learndash

Kajabi Review_What Needs Improvement

Even with all of Learndash’s helpful features, it still has a handful of flaws that need to be worked on.

No Free Trial Icon

No Free Trial

Learndash not having a free trial for new users is what caught our attention the most. Unlike other online course platforms and plug-ins, Learndash will ask you to subscribe to a paid plan right from the start.

This is a problem for those on a tight budget and so can’t afford to shell out money upfront. It’s also an issue for users that are still unsure of whether or not they like Learndash.

Not having a trial period tends to drive away potential users, especially those who are still quite indecisive.

The silver lining of this downside is that Learndash offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for all its subscribers. If you’re unsatisfied with Learndash, you can reach out to the support team and you can negotiate a full refund within 30 days of your last payment.

But even with the refund guarantee, it still would be better to just have a free trial period for everyone’s peace of mind.

Teachable Review_Transaction Fees

Limited Sales Features

Though we mentioned that Learndash provides monetization options for the online courses you make, it still lacks other sales features.

For one, it doesn’t have its own course marketplace like other platforms that sell online courses do. It also doesn’t let you create or send out coupons to your students.

One way you can go about this is to install an application like WooCommerce which has all the sales features Learndash lacks.

But then if only Learndash already had all of those built into it, you wouldn’t have to go through all the trouble of installing another app.

Overwhelming Interface-Icon

Challenging Interface

Finally, though we do enjoy Learndash’s drag-and-drop builder, the overall interface is still quite hard to adjust to. Many users have shared that it took them quite a while to get the hang of setting up courses because it’s on a WordPress site.

Learndash is a plug-in so in terms of interface, there’s only so much it can do and become. If you aren’t too well-versed with how to operate a WordPress site, then you might have to go through an initial learning curve.

Some users complain that the interface is quite bare. It isn’t exactly as visually appealing or colorful as other platforms.

If user experience is highly important to you, then you might want to consider other alternatives first before choosing Learndash.

Learndash Prices

FTK-Pricing Plans_LEARNDASH

As discussed, Learndash doesn’t offer a free trial for new users. But there are 3 reasonably-priced paid plans that you can avail of upon signing up.

RELATED: Learndash Pricing

LearnDash Basic

Learn Dash Review Screenshots_Learndash Basic

The most affordable pricing plan is Learndash Basic. It costs $159 per year. (One more thing about Learndash is that the plans are billed annually instead of monthly.)

This plan will let you create unlimited courses, lessons, and quizzes. You can also enroll an unlimited number of users per course and lesson.

You can access advanced quizzing options already with this plan. And for every lesson or course that you create, you receive content protection.

Other features like push email notifications, course forum options, and access to free plug-ins also come with this plan. You’ll also be entitled to a single site license and a year of free customer support.

As for customization tools, you get a free website template with this plan.

LearnDash Plus

Learn Dash Review Screenshots_Learndash Plus

Learndash’s mid-tier pricing plan is called Learndash Plus. It costs $189 per year.

With it, subscribers receive all the same features that they would with the Basic plan, but with more add-ons.

Instead of just one, you can have up to 10 site licenses with the Plus plan. You also get more advanced assessment features that you can use for lessons/topics.

Those subscribed to this Learndash plan will also get to access the ProPanel feature. As mentioned earlier, it’s a feature that lets you access analytics and progress reports regarding your courses and lessons/topics.

LearnDash Pro

Learn Dash Review Screenshots_Learndash Pro

Finally, if you’re willing to spend a little more, then Learndash has a Pro plan. It costs $329 per year.

Like the Learndash Plus plan, you also get the same benefits that you would from the Basic plan but with more premium features.

You get to have the most site licenses with Learndash Pro. A total of 25 site licenses is possible with this plan. Other advanced content and assessment features are also available.

And like the Plus plan, you also get to use the ProPanel feature with Learndash Pro.

Learndash Review/s

Thinkific Reviews

If you’re looking for a review of Learndash from actual users, then check out the review/s we found below.

A common comment from each review is that Learndash is easy enough to use for setting up online courses. Most users also like that it has customizable quizzing features.

“We’ve used this for new courses we recently created and it has been working well for our students. They provide video training and solid documentation to help get going. It can be confusing at first, and we’ve had to adjust our courses as we’ve gone along and learned, but once you get used to how it works then it’s fast and simple enough.” -Anonymous

“It is user friendly once you get to grips with the structure of courses, lessons, and topics. If you are familiar with WordPress you’ll find adding content easy.” -Anonymous

“Building a learning portal on WordPress is brilliant. The core features of LearnDash in creating courses are great. Good quiz engine and solid features for offering and tracking courses with clear progress indicators.” -Anonymous

“I installed Learndash to host and sell online learning videos. I run face to face training mainly and the online courses support that. It has worked well for me and I have been selling courses also for a few months.” -Anonymous

Alternatives to Learndash

Alternatives to Thinkific

Still not satisfied with Learndash? Then maybe you should try out these alternatives instead:

Podia

FTK_PODIA-1.jpg

Podia is a popular platform for creating courses. Its biggest difference from Learndash would have to be that it’s a standalone application and not a plug-in.

This allows it to provide users with more advanced options and features. It has a competent course creation menu that gets lets you set up your first course in just a few clicks.

You can add a variety of content types to your courses. To improve how your students will understand a lesson, you can also upload PDFs, PowerPoints, and MP3s.

Plus, you can even host paid webinars and video tutorials. This is great for students who learn better through visual cues and materials.

Once you’re all set up with creation, you can then sell courses on Podia. It has its own course marketplace that makes it easier to advertise your courses.

You can also create and design your own sales pages with Podia. A good sales page will largely increase your conversion rates and revenue.

And unlike Learndash, you can send out coupons and freebies to your students on Podia. This will motivate them to stay enrolled in your course.

Podia also allows you to run an affiliate program on your page. This is a great tactic for reaching potential students to enroll in your online courses and visit our website.

LifterLMS

FTK_LIFTER-LMS.jpg

If it’s another plug-in that you’re looking for, then you should check out Lifter LMS. Just like Learndash, it’s also a WordPress LMS plug-in that you can integrate into your WordPress dashboard.

You simply have to download the plug-in to sync it into your website and use it as a learning management system.

Compared to Learndash, most users say that the Lifter LMS interface is much easier on the eyes. It’s also simple enough to use by first-timers.

Course creators can customize the assessments and assignments they add to each lesson. And when a student finishes a course, he can receive a certificate of accomplishment from his instructor.

Like Learndash, users can also post queries and have discussions on Lifter LMS. It has a community forum that all users can take part of.

What sets it apart from Learndash is that course creators on Lifter LMS can have one-on-one coaching sessions with students. This increases the chances of a student understanding a lesson or topic better.

It also lets you send out coupons and freebies to the students, which Learndash doesn’t.

Final Verdict

Final Verdict

Now that we’ve reached the end of this Learndash review, we hope that you’ve learned a whole lot more about its features and strengths.

We think that Learndash has plenty of useful features to be proud of. For one, we love its drag-and-drop editor because it’s incredibly functional for creating courses.

Learndash also lets you add and remove certain elements from your online courses quite easily. You can even organize the layout of your website with it.

You can even set up certain quizzes and assessment types on Learndash. This will improve the way that your students learn a lesson or topic on the website.

Plus, there’s the option to drip your course content. You can set specific conditions for releasing new content to your students.

The same goes for its email triggering options. When the student meets certain criteria or conditions, you can also send out an email update.

And perhaps the only biggest flaw that Learndash has is that it doesn’t offer a free trial. To enjoy the ease of use of its editor and all the course features it gives, you’ll have to pay upfront.

Though Learndash does have a 30-day refund guarantee, it still poses as a turnoff for creators that have tight budgets. It’s definitely something that Learndash can still improve on.

Also, you have to note that the billing of the subscription happens annually instead of monthly.

But otherwise, Learndash seems to be a pretty competent plug-in and learning management system. We highly recommend that you install this plug-in to your WordPress dashboard and website.

It also has 3 different paid plans that you can choose from, depending on your budget and course content creation needs.

Our verdict is yes. Go for it!

FTK_LEARNDASH.jpg

About the author

jack_morris

Jack Morris

Jack has worked on the video production, audio mastery, and physical coursework for over one-hundred popular online courses to date. He’s here to share his experiences with you, as well as show you what tools are worth your time, how to spot those that aren’t worth a penny, and above all else, how to keep yourself informed about how to navigate online course creation efficiently and effectively.